XI. Eighteenth Century Migrations
North Yarmouth, ME
New Gloucester, ME
A Merrill Memorial
Merrill, 1928, reprint 1983
Eighteenth Century Migrations - Chapter XI,
North Yarmouth, like Falmouth, had its troubles with the
Indians and their French allies. It was twice settled
and abandoned, but about 1721, after more than forty years'
absence, the heirs of the former English occupants began
to take possession again, and since that time the occupation
has been uninterrupted, though the Indians continued to
be troublesome until after 1756.
Merrill (Moses3, Daniel2) settled
in North Yarmouth in June, 1737, removing thither from
Salisbury, Mass. (See page 263.)
He was probably the first bearing the family name to live
in the town. John4 Merrill (Nathan3,
Abel2) is supposed to have moved to North Yarmouth
from Falmouth, and his sons Stephen and Enoch are said
to have been born there. (See page 272.)
His sons Benjamin, John, Abel, and Jacob all lived in
North Yarmouth, and left many descendants.
Merrill Road was in the part of North
Yarmouth which by successive town incorporations became
Freeport in 1789 and Pownal in 1808. The road took its
name from Josiah6 Merrill (Jacob5,
John4, Nathan3, Abel2),
who was the first settler who improved land in that section.
(See page 581) He had previously
lived in the part of North Yarmouth which is now Cumberland.
He bought his farm, consisting of fifty acres on the west
side of Merrill Road, half a mile from the Freeport line,
in 1788. He was unmarried, but at once set about clearing
his land, and built a log house near the western edge
of the property. In 1790 he married Eunice Merrill of
log house was their home for fifteen years, and there
six of their children were born. But Josiah Merrill had
built at the wrong end of his farm. The highway bounded
his farm on the east, and in 1805 he built a large one-story
frame house on Merrill Road, and thither removed his family.
He was a quiet substantial citizen, and his wife was an
industrious woman, of high standing in the church and
the community. In later years his son Daniel7 managed
Josiah6 Merrill's children
were all singers. A writer in "Old Times in North
Yarmouth" (page 592) relates
that it was no unusual thing, about 1835, "to see
the family of nine children seated in the singing-gallery,
with the oldest son the leader and the youngest son as
the performer on the bass-viol. Four of these sat in the
church choir for more than half a century."
William6 Merrill, a younger
brother, settled near Josiah6 about 1805, and
here raised a family of ten children. (*)
The territory which was given the name
North Yarmouth in 1680 has been repeatedly subdivided,
Harpswell being set off in 1758, Freeport in 1789, Pownal
in 1808, Cumberland in 1821, and Yarmouth in 1849. Ezekiel7
Merrill (Ezekiel6,5, Moses4,3, Daniel2)
was born in 1796 in Hebron, Me., but lived on a Yarmouth
farm. (See page 544) His son Joseph-Edward8
Merrill of Newton, Mass., in 1904 erected in Yarmouth
a beautiful "Merrill Memorial Library" in honor
of his parents.
Authority: "Old Times in North Yarmouth" (published
1880-1884), pages 589-592, 1135-1138. At page 992 a writer
gives the "Muster Roll of Capt. Peter Merrill's Company
of Foot," 28 August, 1804, of which company Peter
Merrill was captain and Reuben Merrill ensign. Twenty-one
of the ninety-four enlisted men were also Merrills.
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